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Cancers 2011, 3(1), 1195-1231; doi:10.3390/cancers3011195

Analysis of Somatic Mutations in Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms of Activation in the ErbB Family of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases

Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, 210 S. 33 Street, 240 Skirkanich Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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Received: 7 January 2011 / Revised: 28 February 2011 / Accepted: 1 March 2011 / Published: 10 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Cancer)
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Abstract

The ErbB/EGFR/HER family of kinases consists of four homologous receptor tyrosine kinases which are important regulatory elements in many cellular processes, including cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Somatic mutations in, or over-expression of, the ErbB family is found in many cancers and is correlated with a poor prognosis; particularly, clinically identified mutations found in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) of ErbB1 have been shown to increase its basal kinase activity and patients carrying these mutations respond remarkably to the small tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib. Here, we analyze the potential effects of the currently catalogued clinically identified mutations in the ErbB family kinase domains on the molecular mechanisms of kinase activation. Recently, we identified conserved networks of hydrophilic and hydrophobic interactions characteristic to the active and inactive conformation, respectively. Here, we show that the clinically identified mutants influence the kinase activity in distinctive fashion by affecting the characteristic interaction networks.
Keywords: ErbB/EGFR/HER kinase; multiscale modeling; somatic mutation; ERK/Akt activation ErbB/EGFR/HER kinase; multiscale modeling; somatic mutation; ERK/Akt activation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shih, A.J.; Telesco, S.E.; Radhakrishnan, R. Analysis of Somatic Mutations in Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms of Activation in the ErbB Family of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases. Cancers 2011, 3, 1195-1231.

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